Family, friends, a college education and the blessing of life were just a few of the thanksgivings La Verne community members shared at LVTV’s “What I Have to Be Thankful For” program on Nov. 15.
Airing all day Thanksgiving, a small group of about 20, mainly University of La Verne students found wandering in the Arts and Communications Building and students from a television class the night before, went on camera to share their blessings.
A donation of canned food for the Inland Valley Council of Churches food bank was received in exchange for airtime.
“With a community station, we are always looking for ways to bring the community together,” said Don Pollock, professor of communications. “We’re bringing people on TV to say what they’re thankful for just for the cost of a can of food.”
Although a small crowd, all program guests had a deep appreciation for the holiday and LVTV’s inspiration for the event.
“Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday,” Pollock said. “We would have everyone together, but would never talk about the meaning of the holiday.”
“This is a chance for people to reflect on what they are thankful for,” he added.
George Keeler, chair of the communications department, his wife Jeanette, his son Nathan, 8, and daughter Becky, 3, came to give thanks with canned food ready.
Nathan gave thanks for his mom, dad, little sister and new goldfish; while Becky was grateful for her mommy, daddy and “nay-nay” (also know as her older brother Nathan). Jeanette said she was thankful for her family and first grade students at Shull Elementary in San Dimas.
The family spent a festive time together singing a Thanksgiving song and enjoying time in the camera’s lights.
“I think Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday, and it’s great to bring the family and have something to talk about in the car and later,” George Keeler said.
Besides the Keeler family, the majority of the night’s participants were communications students rounded up from the building.
Jovonnie Mabrie, a senior movement sports science major, was thankful to have the chance to see his family after being away for so long.
B.J. Biggles, a senior multimedia major, gave thanks for family, friends, his upcoming graduation and everything in his life.
“This is a great experience because it makes people think about what they are really thankful for,” Biggles said. “It makes people put their guard down and think about how blessed they are.”
Alex Senyo, a sophomore radio major, was thankful he was going to see his family in Pennsylvania after two years of being away from them.
“People are too worried about what they don’t have then what they do have,” Senyo said. “We need to count our blessings instead of complaining.”
The program started several years ago and was brought back this year after its hiatus.
Pollock said the program had been successful a few years ago, which sparked its return, but since people are so busy these days it’s hard to get people to drive in.
Despite the small involvement, participants were greatly in the Thanksgiving spirit making the night quiet, but full of joy for the season.
Nicole Knight can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.